Has Science Made Christianity Obsolete?

This is a guest post by Christopher Reese, general editor of the Dictionary of Christianity and Science. Pre-order the dictionary before 9/22 to save 18%.

Many influential sectors of our culture today promote the idea that Christianity and science are mutually exclusive—that Christianity represents superstition and dogma, while science represents reason and evidence. Many skeptics claim to follow science rather than religion, and some believe that science will eventually banish religion to the dust heap of history. The so-called new atheists, in particular, are notorious for pitting science against religion, equating religion with belief in fairies or Santa Claus.

It was for these reasons that I jumped at the chance to help develop and edit the Dictionary of Christianity and Science.

Finding answers doesn’t have to be daunting

Christians are often barraged with these kinds of charges, and it can be quite difficult finding resources to both understand the issues and unearth a Christian perspective on them. It can also be daunting diving into a book-length treatment of an issue that a skeptic or seeker has brought to your attention. Besides that, the questions that come up often cut across such a diverse number of disciplines that you would need to build a significant library to deal with them—topics like biology, physics, theology, biblical studies, and philosophy, among others. Finally, it’s not easy finding material that provides balanced overviews of these subjects and a range of perspectives, rather than arguing for just one viewpoint.

The other general editors and I aimed for the Dictionary to address all of these difficulties, and we hope it will be a useful resource for pastors, students, scholars, and any believer who wants to understand how Christianity and science relate. The Dictionary is really more of an encyclopedia in that the entries range from 500 to 2,500 words. You’ll find short overview articles on topics like abortion, Francis Bacon, and the Star of Bethlehem, and longer essays on issues like the Big Bang Theory, the Genesis Flood, and neuroscience. A number of especially controversial topics are covered in a counterpoint format that allows two different perspectives to be presented. Some of these include Adam and Eve, the days of creation in Genesis, the age of the universe and earth, and the fossil record. All of the contributors write from an evangelical perspective and provide analyses in that light that can’t be found in any other single volume.

I’m also pleased to say that the overall effect of the Dictionary is to demonstrate that it’s an indefensible myth that Christianity and science are opposed to each other. The accusations of the new atheists are based on faulty philosophies of science, rather than on science itself, and many scholars credit Christianity with providing a worldview out of which modern science could emerge. Moreover, many Christians have done pioneering work in science, and continue to today. As you learn the facts about the relationship between Christianity and science that are never acknowledged in popular culture, I believe you’ll be both informed and encouraged, as I was.

Christopher L. Reese (ThM, Talbot School of Theology) is a Marketing Strategist for Lexham Press. He is also a writer and editor, and a cofounder of the Christian Apologetics Alliance.

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Don’t miss your chance to save 18% on the Dictionary of Christianity and Science. You only have until September 22, so pre-order now.

Comments

  1. Robert le Clus says:

    When I first saw this book advertised by Zonderzan I got rather excited. I am a Christian and I love science. What a great resource. Then I decided to check out a few things. I discovered that (I am open to correction here) there is only one young earth creationist who wrote an article and the YEC position itself is not fairly presented in this dictionary. If one leaves out quite a segment of the believing Christian world how can the dictionary call itself fair and balanced.

    So if you are already an old earther this is probably a great book. Otherwise don’t bother. Unless of course you want the biased old earth view for research purposes.
    Sadly this is a lot of Christian academia today.

  2. Chris Reese says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Dictionary. With the wide spectrum of views on the relationship between Christianity and science, it’s difficult to give each viewpoint equal time. However, we did include several contributors who identify with the Young Earth position, including Todd Beall (who wrote four major multiple-viewpoint articles), John Mark Reynolds, Marcus Ross, and Paul Nelson. On the topics where the Young Earth position is most distinctive (e.g., Adam and Eve, the age of the universe and earth, a defense of the YEC view, a critique of the OEC view, the days of creation, and the fossil record), the YEC view is represented on all of those issues.
    Thanks again for your feedback.
    All the best,
    Chris Reese